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SF suspends Holohan for 'upsetting' comments

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Councillor Paddy Holohan. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Councillor Paddy Holohan. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Councillor Paddy Holohan. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

A Sinn Fein councillor caught up in a series of controversial comments has now been suspended from the party.

South Dublin county councillor Paddy Holohan, a former UFC fighter whose nickname is 'Hooligan', was forced to issue an apology on Thursday after he called Taoiseach Leo Varadkar "of Indian blood" on his podcast, and for saying he would prefer for the leader of the country to be a "family man".

He said his comments were "misinterpreted" in a statement on Twitter, but further comments emerged yesterday.

The councillor said if he ran an all-women MMA class it would be supported, but an all-male class would be criticised.

Mr Holohan said he would be criticised for "hating women" if he ran an all-male class.

Scum

"If I put that out there my business would be affected and I would be affected. I would be slated, 'he hates women', or they wouldn't say, 'he hates men'," he said.

Terry McMahon, being interviewed on the podcast, says he understands some women wanting female-only MMA classes if they have been attacked in the past, because there are "scum men".

Mr Holohan adds: "There is some f**king scum women out there as well.

"I just wanna say to you, a situation I heard during the week where somebody was under-age, the person didn't know they were under-age, the girl had pursued the guy, got whatever she needed, had pictures, had videos and then said, 'I want 10 grand'.

"And that wasn't the first person, there were loads of them. What kind of situation is that, that is going on in society now?"

Sinn Fein issued a statement yesterday to say it has suspended the Tallaght councillor.

"Paddy Holohan has been suspended from Sinn Fein with immediate effect and a disciplinary process has been initiated," the party said.

Speaking in Bray, Co Wicklow, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said disciplinary action would be taken against Mr Holohan, adding: "Obviously the comments are offensive, they are beyond offensive, I actually find them upsetting.

"I am very, very shocked at the comments made, and the party's disciplinary procedure is now activated as we speak."

She said she regarded it as a "gross breach" of Sinn Fein's code of ethics and said she was "as shocked as anybody" to see the comments, having only learned of them 40 minutes before she spoke to journalists while canvassing.

Mr Holohan could not be reached for comment.